Robert C. Odle Jr. died at his home in Alexandria, Va., on Oct. 2, 2019, after being ill for several months. Mr. Odle retired as a partner of the law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP on Feb. 23, 2015, after 30 years of service.
Mr. Odle represented clients on a wide range of matters before the U.S. Congress and agencies, departments, boards, and commissions of the government of the United States. In addition to his work on major policy issues, including corporate governance, energy, the environment and housing, he served pro-bono as counsel to charitable foundations in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Nominated as Assistant Secretary of Energy by President Reagan, and confirmed by the Senate in 1981, Mr. Odle was responsible for the Department of Energy’s legislative, public, intergovernmental, consumer affairs programs, DOE’s Office of Competition, and the environmental, health, and safety compliance of DOE facilities, including all DOE nuclear installations. He also served as the principal adviser to the Secretary in the formulation and review of national energy policy. Rob Odle was also appointed by President Reagan to the Task for Legal Equality of Women in 1981.
Prior to his DOE appointment, Mr. Odle was Washington Representative for International Paper Company. Joining International Paper in 1976, he specialized in liaison with federal agencies and departments, and represented the company before Congress on energy, environmental, regulatory, tax, and wage-price issues. From 1973 to 1976, Mr. Odle served as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. While at HUD, his primary responsibilities involved the financial and operational management of single and multifamily housing programs, and the administration of the nation's public housing program.
Prior to his service at HUD, Mr. Odle was a Staff Assistant to President Nixon at the White House, where he worked for the Director of Communications, Herb Klein. Later he acted as a Presidential Campaign Aide. After he retired, Mr. Odle served pro-bono as general counsel on the Richard Nixon Foundation Board of Directors.
Mr. Odle was a 50-year member of the Michigan Bar Association, District of Columbia Bar Association and was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Reagan Alumni Association, the Federalist Society, the Republican National Lawyers Association, the President’s Cabinet of the Richard Nixon Foundation, the University Club of Washington, the John Carroll Society, the Basilica of Saint Mary in Alexandria, the Review Board of the Diocese of Arlington, and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Mr. Odle was particularly honored to mentor and help numerous young people and especially those in need.
Mr. Odle served, pro bono, as general counsel to several foundations operating in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, in addition to the Richard Nixon Library and Foundation.
Mr. Odle graduated from Wayne State University in 1966 with a B.A. in political science. He also received a J.D. from the Michigan State University (formerly called the Detroit College of Law) in 1969. In 1992, when he gave the commencement address, Mr. Odle also received an honorary Doctor of Law degree.
Mr. Odle, a long-time resident of Old Town Alexandria, is survived by his wife of fifty years, Lydia, and their son, John Paul Odle.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, at noon at the Basilica of Saint Mary, 310 South Royal Street, Alexandria, VA. The burial will be in Port Huron, Michigan, Mr. Odle’s ancestral home. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Mr. Odle’s name to The Little Sisters of the Poor, 4200 Harwood Road, NE, Washington, DC 20017 (Tax ID #53-0227542)